Solar PV R&DProject SunDrive Copper Metallisation Demonstration
This report provides details on SunDrive’s unique experience of taking a concept from a university laboratory to a commercial venture, as well as the important lessons and takeaways that may help guide other start-ups.
SunDrive is a technology start-up company currently based in Kirrawee, NSW. The company’s overarching goal is to realise the full potential of solar photovoltaics (PV) and accelerate the uptake of solar energy around the world. The technology at the heart of SunDrive is an alternative to traditional silver-based metallisation for industrial solar cell manufacturing that completely replaces silver with copper – a metal that is approximately 1000x more abundant and 100x cheaper than silver.
As the international community pushes towards TW-scale solar production capacity, the criticality of minimising cost by using cheaper and more abundant materials for solar PV generation is an increasingly important issue. Furthermore, with current commercial solar technologies reaching their efficiency limits and next-generation cell technologies demanding even greater silver usage, a growing cost and supply risk presents a significant challenge for the evolution of the solar industry. SunDrive’s technology directly addresses this critical issue, whilst also providing performance benefits beyond that achievable with existing silver-based commercial technologies.